May 2023

Field elm


The tree of dreams The field elm (Ulmus minor) is a tree that can reach more than 30 meters in height, with a beautiful dome-shaped crown. A serious disease called graphiosis, which arrived in Europe from Asia around 1920 and spread by some beetles, has almost totally destroyed the adult plants throughout Europe. It lives in woods and hedges on fresh or periodically submerged soils. One of the characteristics of elms is to possess leaves with an asymmetrical base. The flowers appear in March-April, before the leaves, and are made up of small bundles of red stamens. The fruits consist [...]

Field elm2023-05-30T16:12:54+02:00

Parsnip 🌼🥕 🌱


Parsnip 🌼🥕 🌱 An ancient vegetable 🏛️ The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa, Apiaceae family) is a biennial plant 40-80 cm tall. The cultivated species derives from the wild one, obtained after many generations of selective crossings. While the root of the cultivated species is fleshy and ivory white, that of the wild species is poorly developed. The parsnip was once highly prized, until it was replaced by the carrot 🥕 around the 11th century. However, it was still used for a long time among poor populations. This plant is present in hilly and mountainous meadows and woods, in damp and shady [...]

Parsnip 🌼🥕 🌱2023-05-30T16:06:30+02:00

The Painted lady


The Painted lady A great migrant The Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) is a splendid butterfly that belongs to the Nymphalidae family. With a lively livery, it has a wingspan of about 54-60 mm, with bright and variegated colors on the front face of the wings. It's found all over the world and it's a long-range migratory butterfly . In Europe these butterflies come from North Africa in thousands, in April and May, but adults can't make it through the rigors of winter. The Painted lady feeds on the nectar of many species of flowers and is widespread in different types [...]

The Painted lady2023-05-22T08:14:17+02:00

Black alder The wood of Venice 🌳


Black alder The wood of Venice The black alder (Alnus glutinosa) is a tree that can reach a height of 20-25 meters. It loves to live in damp places, it is found along rivers and streams and in swampy woods. Its roots host bacteria capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen which is thus transmitted to the soil. In this way the black alder performs a real reclamation and also serves to consolidate landslide banks and slopes subject to landslides. Bloom takes place in spring, in the form of male inflorescences, long and pendulous, and female inflorescences, small in tufts. Pollination takes [...]

Black alder The wood of Venice 🌳2023-05-18T15:27:47+02:00

Nigella damascena Love-in-a-mist 🌺🌸


Nigella damascena Love-in-a-mist The particular name of this plant, love-in-a-mist, derives from the presence in the flowers of numerous stamens and feathery bracts. It belongs to the Ranuncolaceae family. It is a small, attractive plant with beautiful pale blue flowers that bloom solitary. The flowers have 5 colored sepals , while the petals are small and numerous stamens and pistils protrude from the center of the corolla. Even if the structure of the flower is complex, bees manage to reach the nectar by moving in a circle around the center of the flower. In summer, capsule-shaped fruits are formed which [...]

Nigella damascena Love-in-a-mist 🌺🌸2023-05-17T09:42:29+02:00

Episyrphus balteatus


Episyrphus balteatus ❄️🌳🌸 A little air acrobat It's a little Diptera from the Syrphid family. It is completely harmless and has the shape of a fly but, like most of the Syrphids, it imitates the much more dangerous wasps as a defense strategy. In fact, the abdomen is orange with narrow black bands. Episyrphus adults feed on nectar and pollen grains which they crush with their front legs. Thus they promote the pollination of many plants The larvae, on the other hand, are predators of aphids and caterpillars: they devour up to 200 of them during development! Sometimes the adults [...]

Episyrphus balteatus2023-05-03T10:20:12+02:00
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